FACE to FACE with the Future

Photo for FACE to FACE with the Future

Let’s face it. None of us is getting any younger. At some point, we are going to have to pass along our beloved Little British Cars to someone with quicker reflexes and sharper eyes.

Yet, when you mention MGs to young people today the usual response is, “What is that?” If we are going to keep MGs alive and well in the future, we need to start now to introduce them to the young men and women who will one day be looking for that special car that will help them express their individuality.

It was with this in mind that I approached Fred Donaldson, the Auto Tech instructor at Auburn High School in Auburn, WA, just before the end of school in June 2012. I asked Fred if he would be willing to host an MG car show in his shop for his students later that year, perhaps in October. I explained that one of the goals of our club is to expose today’s youth to the many models and variations of MGs in hopes that one day they might decide that they would really like to have one. Fred immediately agreed, and started making plans. He asked for books and information that he could use to teach his students the MG basics, so that his students could act as guides to the visiting classes. He decided that he would send a blanket email out to all staff and administrators, not only at AHS, but in the whole district. He set up a sign up policy that allowed two classes per period to come through the shop and view the cars. During the three lunch periods the shop would be open for anyone who wanted to visit. Fred arranged to have the Culinary Arts department set up a hot dog stand outside the shop to entice students, staff, and visitors to drop by, get lunch, and see beautiful cars.

Face to FaceJack and I then set out to recruit as many MGs as possible to come to the show. It was wonderful how many of our club members were willing to come in and spend an entire Friday at school. Several of them even arranged to take the day off work, just so they could be there. There was only a little bit of good natured grumbling when I informed them that they would have to arrive between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. to avoid getting tangled up with busses delivering students to school.

On Friday, October 5, twenty MGs drove into the AHS Auto Shop and set up a wonderful display. We had an MGTD, several MGAs and MGBs, a few MGB V8s, one MGB race car, and a Morris Traveller. One of the MGBs was put up on a hoist so that the students could walk underneath it and get a ground’s eye view. It was wonderful to watch as our club members interacted with the students, talking one on one, and answering questions.

The feedback from the show has been extremely positive. Fred says he and his students lost count at about 300 visiting students. If the goal of this event was to expose today’s youth to the wonders of MGs, I think this show was a total success. We certainly got exposure. There is even a picture of the car show posted on the Auburn School District website.

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Last updated on October 7, 2013.

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